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Sports Betting and the NFL: Delaware Gets Some Action

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Sep/04/2009
sports betting

The state of Delaware has boldly decided to begin offering sports betting in the form of NFL wagering.

After an expensive court battle, plans by state leaders and casino operators to offer betting on single games in multiple sports were struck down. Delaware can only offer betting on at least three NFL games per wager, called parlay bets.

"We're going to make it work," said Dover Downs Inc. president and CEO Ed Sutor.

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that a sports betting law in Delaware was in violation of a federal prohibition against sports gambling.



The Delaware legislation had been challenged by the NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and the NCAA in a lawsuit.



Delaware had intended to put its sports betting plan, including NFL betting, into effect next month as a revenue-generating mechanism.

State officials still haven't decided what the minimum and maximum betting limits will be, and parlay cards with the game picks and point spreads aren't expected to arrive at casinos until opening day.

Gamblers will make cash wagers and receive payouts on bets that involve at least three games. A bettor must pick all the winning teams to win. The odds of winning, and the payout, increase with the numbers of games bet. For example, a parlay bet on three games might involve 6-to-1 odds, while a parlay involving five teams might involve 25-to-1 odds.

"There's still questions to be answered," said Sutor, who among other things, wonders whether betting will be restricted to preprinted cards or if last-minute electronic wagers can be entered just before game time.

"We are working around the clock on this stuff," acting state finance secretary Tom Cook said. "All I can guarantee you is that we will be ready."

But parlay betting could be a tough sell among some sports fans.

"It's almost like people playing a lottery when you've got to pick that many games ... you might as well pick which three flights are going to land on time," said David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Brooks Lindland, 26, of Delmar, said he was interested in the sports lottery "'til I heard it was going parlay."

If you don't happen to live in Delaware, you can place your NFL wagers online at Sportsbetting.com Here

Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com 

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